Can what you eat now affect your baby in 30 years time?

Author: Tessa Finney-Brown.

Most pregnant women are aware that what they eat during their pregnancy can have a large impact upon the health of their future children. We now know, for example, that good levels of folate help to prevent birth defects like spina bifida, and that omega 3’s are good for a child’s developing brain.

But new research is starting to show that a mother’s diet can also affect her baby more than 30 or 50 years on. Famine, or low levels of calories during pregnancy have been linked to the development of cardiovascular problems, mental health problems and diabetes in the adult offspring.  Micronutrient imbalances have important impacts too. Alterations in some organs, leading to later life heart and kidney disease, have also been associated with suboptimal Zinc status in pregnant women.

A lot of the media have recently been catching onto how important the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is for health and wellbeing. It’s also highly implicated in this area. Maternal Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to insulin resistance and the development in diabetes in the child. Additionally, low Vitamin D and folate can substantially increase the risk of the baby developing schizophrenia during their life.

So what is the take-away message? It’s important to have the healthiest diet and lifestyle in pregnancy in order to have the healthiest children, now and in 30 years time. Sometimes women will need additional supplements depending upon their lifestyle and other health problems.

Are you confused about what to eat and take during your pregnancy? Feel free to come in and have a chat, and let me help guide you through this exciting and joyous time.

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